Thursday, April 22, 2010

12 Week Challenge - Week 3

Our task this week was to think about the business model we want to set up as illustrators, and also compile a list of 10 publishers we would like to work with.

As far as a business model, I will most likely keep it as a sole proprietorship in the beginning for simplicity. However, there are benefits to incorporating yourself in the future. One is that should anything happen with the "company", your personal assets are safe from seizure. There are tax benefits as well. I doubt I will ever put myself under an umbrella name, though.

And for my wish list of clients, they are as follows:

Book Publishers
Igloo Books
Parragon Books
Penguin Group (Dutton, Dial, and G.P. Putnam imprints)
Holiday House
Henry Holt Books for Young Readers
Hyperion Books for Children
Bethany House Publishers (Christian publisher)

Highlights (no brainer)
Clubhouse, Jr. (from Focus on the Family)
US Kids (Humpty Dumpty, Turtle, and Jack & Jill magazines)

Some of the publishers I picked through my research at the bookstore, others by their website and listing in my 2006 copy of the CWIM. There are others I may target in the future, but I think this is a pretty good start. (I will also mention that I am a bit disappointed in the 2010 CWIM. I went to the store to get it, and upon reviewing it, was surprised to see how little illustrator info was included compared to previous issues. I did not buy it.)

I have to give mucho kudos to Jonathan Woodward for starting the 12 Week Challenge. I have never been so motivated and inspired and excited about this process until now. While I don't expect to be a full fledged working illustrator, or even have my first job, this process is proving to be a step in the right direction!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

12 Week Challenge - Wks 1 & 2

Well, here we are in the middle of week 2 of the 12WC. Week 1 was pretty easy for me. We were to focus on what area of illustration we want to pursue, not as a absolute, but as a starting point. My choice was obviously picture books, but more towards the Christian childrens market, and perhaps do some diagramatic illos and maps here and there to supplement.

Week 2 is more of a challenge. Our goal was to develop a business plan of sorts, with the goal of building a business instead of a job, giving one the ability to leave at times and the business still produce money utilizing multiple steams of income. I am not planning on creating a business as such at this time, so I took slightly different approach.

Using their OGSM model (Objective, Goals, Strategies, & Measures), I drafted the following plan:

  • to be able to receive 100% of my income from illustration work

  • published illo within 1 year (05/11)
  • published book within 3-5 years (05/13-05/15)

  • join SCBWI and attend a few conferences
  • portfolio site in next 6 months (09/10)
  • do at least 1 finished illo a week to build portfolio
  • send mailers out to select publishers as soon as site is online and live
  • if time and budget permit, create portfolios on and other portfolio sites

  • published illo by 5/11
  • 10% income from illos by 12/11
  • 100% income from illos by 05/13 - 05/15

I think these are fairly realistic and reachable if I stick with the plan and follow thru with each step. I have to do my best to reserve time for this as it has been really difficult these past few weeks. One thing I really have to limit is my online time. I don't want to say I am wasting that time as much of it is spent visiting blogs. But I've got to pull the plug somewhere if I am going to succeed with this.

I would like to mention that I am getting closer to having my comic strip online! I am really excited and can't wait to share it. Keep checking back as I hope to have it online within the month.